No room for sexual abuse in SA: Chabane

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pretoria - The sexual and physical abuse of young people, and in particular children, should not be tolerated in society, least of all in schools, said Minister in The Presidency, Collins Chabane.

Chabane was reacting to the reported gang rape incident at a Johannesburg high school.

"Government has a responsibility to protect young people from any forms of abuse. All children should be allowed to grow in an environment free of abuse or intimidation," he said.

Last Thursday, three boys allegedly gave date rape drugs to two girls and then gang raped one of them, aged 15, while filming it on their cellphones. The alleged gang rape was done on the school premises during school hours.

However, Chabane welcomed swift action taken by the Gauteng Departments of Education and Community Safety to attend to the matter and provide the necessary support to the victims.

The incident comes at a time when all learners across the country are sitting for their year-end examinations, and has robbed the alleged victims of the opportunity to complete their academic year without hindrance.

The Education Department and the school have agreed to postpone the victims' exams, while reviewing their promotional requirements based on their psychological progress.

The two suspects have so far been arrested. An operation centre has been established at the school, where witnesses are being interviewed.

In assisting the victims to cope with their ordeal, the department is providing support and counselling to the victims and their families to address their physical and emotional well-being.